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Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). Engraving by J. Posselwhite from a painting by Dobson. Engraving published in 1859 with later hand colouring. Hobbes travelled widely and met leading scientists including Galileo and Descartes. An enthusiasm for geometry led Hobbes to try and describe human society in terms of mathematics. In his early attempt at sociology he tried to explain how the behaviour of people could be predicted using the principles of physical science that governed the material world. In his major work, 'Leviathan', the characters were subject to forces of attraction and repulsion. Hobbes' controversial views led to him being accused of atheism and having his books banned in 1666.